Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Phoenix Wright characters that appear herein. They belong to Capcom.

A/N: This story takes place after T&T and probably in an AU, (since I don't know what happens in GS4) so spoilers for all games may appear. This is my first fiction.


She woke up with tears on her face, a yell fading on her lips. Despite the layers of colorful blankets meant to keep out the winter cold, she was shivering. Maya threw off the covers and stumbled half-blindly into the bathroom. Upon switching on the light, her sad, disheveled reflection stared back at her from the small sink mirror.

She had been dreaming of her mother. Or rather, of a blurry silhouette whose face she desperately tried to see, but never could. The soft, sweet shadow would always hover just beyond her reach, as if waiting for her. But as soon as Maya began to move toward it, the shadow would recede, more and more rapidly as the girl chased futilely after it. This was the way it always happened—the more she cried out and ran after the shadow, the further away it went, leaving her cold and alone in the dark. By the time Maya woke up, she would be shivering, sometimes violently, and always, always feeling as if there was a gaping chasm in her chest.

She reached out to touch the red and puffy eyes of her reflection.

"Mother," she whispered. But of course her mother was gone.

-----

The courtroom was hot and muggy, and tempers were reaching beyond the boiling point. Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth's was no exception; in fact, he was barely managing to keep from storming over to the defense's bench and strangling the ridiculous attorney that occupied it. True, it was snowing outside, but whoever had decided to test their baking skills on this particular day was going to face a severe cut in salary. A certain scruffy face flashed through his mind, and Edgeworth instantly knew it to be true.

You useless fool, he fumed, I told you to set the temperature to a comfortable setting! Honestly. Was even that simple task beyond your comprehension?

"…prosecution agree?"

Edgeworth looked up irritably. "What?" he snapped. Yes, someone's finances were going to be in rather poor shape for the holidays.

"The defense has proved that the defendant was not at the scene of the crime during the time that your witness saw the murder," replied the judge, frowning. "I must conclude therefore that the defendant could not have been the murderer. Do you agree?"

The prosecutor shook his head and stabbed a finger in the direction of Phoenix Wright, supposed "ace" defense attorney. "The only thing the defense has proved is that the only thing his head is useful for is sporting a preposterous hairstyle."

"H-hey!" was the indignant response.

"The defense 'proved' that the defendant was not at the crime scene during the time of the murder?" Edgeworth repeated incredulously. "All we have is the testimony of his questionable friend, who has every reason to lie. However, the witness clearly saw a bald man of slender build with the distinguishing butterfly scar on his pate. How many people do you know have a butterfly scar on their shaved head?" He slammed a hand on his desk. "Furthermore, the defendant's fingerprints were found on the pistol that shot the killing bullet! So no, your Honor, the prosecution does not agree."

Edgeworth observed with minimal triumph that Wright was afflicted with a particularly unbecoming pallor. He was conferring furiously with his defense aide, an absurdly attired girl with disturbingly earnest eyes. She whispered something excitedly and pointed at a piece of evidence in the court record. A hopeful, determined expression slowly began to settle on Wright's face. The girl flashed a huge grin and nodded, giving her partner a reassuring pat on the shoulder. Intense annoyance surged through the watching prosecutor. Of course Wright would turn the case about again. And that silly girl would help him do it, as always.

No, not silly, he relented grudgingly. She is assisting in the search for truth. That is what this court is for, after all. Nevertheless, his displeasure remained.

"Your Honor," the defense attorney declared, "there is one flaw in the prosecution's claims…"

And so the trial dragged on in the stifling atmosphere.

-----

Maya pranced around and pumped her fists in the air as she and Phoenix exited the courtroom.

"You did it, Nick!" she cheered. "I believed in you all the way."

"Yeah right," he retorted, mopping his brow. He was sweating bullets. "You looked like you had swallowed a month-old meat loaf until the judge handed down the 'not guilty'."

"Meat loaf. Mmm."

Phoenix shot her an exasperated look. Maya was hungry, as always. Still, he was grateful she was there to support him in court, even though her frequent lack of common sense continued to astound him.

"Hey," she said suddenly, pointing behind him. "Isn't that Edgeworth?"

"Oh boy," he muttered, as he broke into another sweat. The prosecutor had been positively livid during the latter half of the trial. Phoenix didn't fancy a post-trial encounter with that thunderous expression. Oblivious, Maya grabbed his arm and spun him around to greet the approaching man.

"Maya," he hissed, "didn't you see his face at the end? I say we run for it."

"Nick!" she scolded. "He's probably here to congratulate you! You two are good friends now, right? He's not evil like he used to be."

"W-Well no…"

And indeed, upon reaching the pair, Edgeworth issued a curt "Congratulations, Wright. I am glad the truth finally came to light."

"Yes. Um. Thank you?" Phoenix replied, flashing a goofy smile.

Though the other man's face was a mask of disapproval, Maya observed no hostility in the expression. She grinned. There was something between the two men—something she couldn't claim to understand, and yet somehow, understood. Poor Pearly, she thought affectionately. She'll be ok. I'm sure I'll meet a super cool "special someone", sometime. And I'll make sure her "special someone" is super cool too. Then she won't be so lonely anymore. Since her mo—

The grin disappeared from Maya's face. Mother. She didn't want to remember that. Her hands, now cold, slipped from their hold on Phoenix's arm. The attorneys were making awkward conversation; she was probably in the way anyway. Maya forced a smile on her face.

"Hey Nick," she said. "I'm going to use the restroom, ok? Be back in a bit."

She walked away as casually as she could, the false smile still in place. She would smile. She had to, for Pearly's sake. Determined as she was to hold herself together, Maya failed to realize that one of the lawyers had noticed her abrupt change of mood.

Subtle concern was reflected in the grey eyes that followed her exit.